Humans will actually react pretty well to news of alien life

February 16, 2018, Arizona State University
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

As humans reach out technologically to see if there are other life forms in the universe, one important question needs to be answered: When we make contact, how are we going to handle it? Will we feel threatened and react in horror? Will we embrace it? Will we even understand it? Or, will we shrug it off as another thing we have to deal with in our increasingly fast-paced world?

"If we came face to face with outside of Earth, we would actually be pretty upbeat about it," said Arizona State University Assistant Professor of Psychology Michael Varnum. "So far, there's been a lot of speculation about how we might respond to this kind of news, but until now, almost no systematic empirical research."

Varnum presented his findings during a press briefing Feb. 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Austin, Texas.

In a , Varnum and his colleagues analyzed language in newspaper articles about past potential discoveries. Through the work, Varnum aimed to address the nature of reactions to extraterrestrial life by analyzing reactions using a software program that quantifies emotions, feelings, drives and other psychological states in written texts.

The articles in the pilot study focused on the 1996 of possibly fossilized extraterrestrial Martian microbes; the 2015 discovery of periodic dimming around Tabby's Star, thought to indicate the presence of an artificially constructed "Dyson sphere;" and the 2017 discovery of Earth-like exoplanets in the habitable zone of a star. The pilot study found that language in the coverage of these events showed significantly more positive than negative emotions.

In a separate study, the team asked more than 500 different participants to write about their own hypothetical reactions and humanity's hypothetical reaction to an announcement that extraterrestrial microbial life had been discovered. Participants' responses also showed significantly more positive than negative emotions, both when contemplating their own reactions and those of humanity as a whole.

"I would have some excitement about the news," one participant said. "It would be exciting even if it was a primitive form."

In another study, Varnum's group presented an additional sample of more than 500 people with past news coverage of scientific discoveries and asked them to write about their reactions. The participants were divided into two groups. In one group, participants read a past article from The New York Times describing possible evidence of on a Mars meteorite. The second group of participants read an article from the Times describing the claimed creation of synthetic human made life created in the lab. Here too, the team found evidence of significantly more positive than negative emotions in responses to the claimed discovery of extraterrestrial life, and this effect was stronger in response to reading about extraterrestrial life than human made synthetic life.

"This discovery shows that other planets have the ability to have life on them," a participant said. "It's a very interesting and exciting finding that could be only the beginning."

In unpublished results presented at the conference, Varnum analyzed recent media coverage of the possibility that the interstellar Oumuamua asteroid might actually be a spaceship. Here too, he found evidence of more positive than , suggesting that we may also react positively to the news of the discovery of evidence of intelligent life from elsewhere in the universe.

Varnum said the studies show that "taken together, this suggests if we find out we're not alone, we'll take the news rather well."

The results of the first three studies were published Jan. 10 in Frontiers in Psychology and analysis of reactions to Oumuamua were presented at AAAS for the first time. ASU doctoral students Hannah Bercovici and Jung Yul Kwon, and ASU alumna Katja Cunningham, assisted Varnum in the research.

Varnum will formally present this research in his presentation, "What Happens When Everyone Finds Out?" The presentation will be given at the "Is There a Future for Humanity in Space?" session on Feb. 17.

Explore further: No alien 'signals' from cigar-shaped asteroid: researchers

More information: Jung Yul Kwon et al, How Will We React to the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?, Frontiers in Psychology (2018). DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.02308

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DougR
2 / 5 (12) Feb 16, 2018
I could not disagree more with this article. There would be bible-thumping koran-thumping wall-wailing angst and envy beyond our wildest imaginations. The only societal good I can see coming out of a discovery of this magnitude would be a bunch of Jim Jones-type apocalypse parties.

'"If we came face to face with life outside of Earth, we would actually be pretty upbeat about it," said Arizona State University Assistant Professor of Psychology Michael Varnum.'

Typical elitist dickhead professor-type response from someone who probably hasn't even ever *met* a Trump supporter, much less try to understand that ignorant mindset.
Gigel
5 / 5 (5) Feb 16, 2018
How'd we react to that? That is very simple and obvious: we'd go to work the next day. :)
isolate
2.7 / 5 (7) Feb 16, 2018
Humans, and Americans in particular, because of our violent nature always see alien contact as an invasion. It never dawns on them that humans may be an abnormal species, expressed in its endless preoccupation with war and other forms of cruelty. Intelligent aliens may be horrified at the Earth and be watching us to understand how best to end the self-destructive behavior and allow our better natures to predominate. I suspect eliminating all but a small breeding population of males would be their first move.

Aliens may also be SO alien that we could never interact with them, the way we can't interact with other intelligent species on earth.
HealingMindN
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 16, 2018
There will never be "news" even about the ones among us.
DougR
2.2 / 5 (13) Feb 16, 2018
Part1.

The more I thought about the naive, ill-researched, ill-informed conclusions of this "study", the more angry I got.

A full 39.8% of adult Americans today (2/16/2018) approve of Trump, according to one of the most rigorous survey organizations out there: FiveThirtyEight.

https://projects..../adults/

The core values of Trump supporters mirror Trump's core values: racism, ignorance, and dishonesty, not to mention a blazing case of narcissistic personality disorder which his supporters greatly admire.

Take a look at Trump's core base of supporters: Evangelical Christians. Fundamentalist Christians. Texas, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Louisiana, Alabama tele-evangelist groupies.

A huge segment of the US population believes vaccines are an evil government plot. Don't even ask about chemtrail belief in this country.
DougR
2 / 5 (12) Feb 16, 2018
Part 2.

We have a well-earned global reputation of being a nation of ignorant, racist, idiotic gun-toting bible-thumpers.

And then along comes this paper written by an assistant professor at Arizona State University that puts forth a preposterous, elitist, and ignorant premise: knowledge of aliens will be well-received here on earth. What was the basis for this conclusion? Self-wish fulfillment? Schmoozing with fellow elitists? Having a few meaningful round table discussions with a group of 25 or so grad students after a conference whiteboard presentation?
DougR
1.9 / 5 (10) Feb 16, 2018
Part 3.

I am embarrassed for The University of Arizona for allowing this paper to be published, and I am embarrassed for Phys.org having published it. Where are the demographic survey statistics that supposedly support this ludicrous premise? Where, for that matter, is there *any* science in this paper?

After reading this paper is has become strikingly clear that the dumbing down of the US educational system has finally percolated up to, and apparently above the level of Assistant University Professor.

Bongstar420
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 16, 2018
These morons do the same no matter what. Aliens won't change their behavior. It will just be another attempt by the "devil" to turn you from the "truff"
Part 3.

I am embarrassed for The University of Arizona for allowing this paper to be published, and I am embarrassed for Phys.org having published it. Where are the demographic survey statistics that supposedly support this ludicrous premise? Where, for that matter, is there *any* science in this paper?

After reading this paper is has become strikingly clear that the dumbing down of the US educational system has finally percolated up to, and apparently above the level of Assistant University Professor.


jonesdave
4.3 / 5 (11) Feb 16, 2018
Part 3.

I am embarrassed for The University of Arizona for allowing this paper to be published, and I am embarrassed for Phys.org having published it. Where are the demographic survey statistics that supposedly support this ludicrous premise?


Demographics would be the sub-section entitled 'Participants', which is the first part of the 'Methods' section. And the study only focuses on reaction to the discovery of microbial life. That's a whole lot different to the Vogons turning up and wanting to put a hyperspace byway through our planet.
DougR
2.1 / 5 (7) Feb 16, 2018
Clearly, that message got lost in the Phys.org summary of this "study".

"As humans reach out technologically to see if there are other life forms in the universe, one important question needs to be answered: When we make contact, how are we going to handle it?"

Does this sound like he's talking about slime mold?

No, it doesn't.

TimLong2001
5 / 5 (3) Feb 16, 2018
We have such difficulty communicating with our companion species on Earth that when we contact other possibly "more intelligent" life, we may not even recognize them as life. They will probably be so well adapted to their environment that they won't need clothing, or maybe even language. Expect the unexpected!
jonesdave
5 / 5 (7) Feb 16, 2018
Clearly, that message got lost in the Phys.org summary of this "study".

"As humans reach out technologically to see if there are other life forms in the universe, one important question needs to be answered: When we make contact, how are we going to handle it?"

Does this sound like he's talking about slime mold?

No, it doesn't.



Never take press releases with more than a grain of salt! The paper quite clearly states:

In these studies, we focused on reactions to extraterrestrial microbial life, as opposed to intelligent life,.......


https://www.front...308/full (free access)
DougR
3.7 / 5 (9) Feb 16, 2018
Thanks for access to the full paper. My criticisms are now directed at the incredibly inaccurate press release.
TechnoCreed
5 / 5 (8) Feb 16, 2018
My criticisms are now directed at the incredibly inaccurate press release.

Na ! Not at all. The article is strait forward about what was involved in the study. Either you've just read the first paragraph before you went into your rant or read the whole thing but have zero reading comprehension.
DougR
2 / 5 (4) Feb 16, 2018
A number of my colleagues would disagree with you about the clarity of the press release.

But no worries, they are all tolerant of alien slime molds.
ddaye
5 / 5 (1) Feb 16, 2018
They will probably be so well adapted to their environment that they won't need clothing, or maybe even language. Expect the unexpected!
Humans started out not needing clothing, we now do when we live in most parts of the world as we've grown more able to control our environment. We are still adapting to our own economy-driven diets but we're now on the brink of engineering our own genomes. And even this is speculating about development scarcely more than a century ahead of our own time. So I agree with "expect the unexpected."
snoosebaum
1 / 5 (2) Feb 16, 2018
Clearly aliens would also have Trump Derangement Syndrome
Edenlegaia
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2018
It's a given. People will react better to discoveries of alien life, even primitive, because their imagination is no longer entirely fed with alien invasions and destruction, but also with coooperation and friendship with beings from above the skies.
That, and mankind sees itself more and more as deserving to disappear no matter how and when. Self-loathing makes chances of life existing somewhere and doing better things appearing as good news and relief.
Oh, humanity, are really all good or all bad?
antialias_physorg
4.4 / 5 (7) Feb 17, 2018
Here's my knee-jerk theory: Humans will react to alien life like they do to any news here on Earth according to two factors:
a) how much it is like them
b) how close it is

Primitive and far away? ..."Ooooh interesting"
Primitive and close by? .."Let's study it - but is it contagious/dangerous?"
Advanced/intelligent and far away?..."Let's try to communicate but let's think about what we do and don't tell"
Advanced/intelligent and close by?..."Fire the missiles!"
ThomasQuinn
4 / 5 (4) Feb 17, 2018
It is perfectly clear, and in fact not even speculative, that responses to the discovery of (advanced) extra-terrestrial life would be very diverse. While I don't think that the attitudes and reactions will mirror major political/religious divides with any degree of exactness, it seems obvious that they will be similar *in nature* to major political/religious divides: many people will follow the lead of those they consider to be authorities (whether in their group of personal relations or 'higher up' authorities), some will respond rationally, others emotionally (and both of those responses can go either way).

I think that there are two groups, both comparatively small, whose responses can be fairly easily predicted:
- strongly dogmatic/orthodox (religious) groups other closely-knit groups that are very hostile to changes/outsiders will respond with disbelief, anger and aggression.
- modernist/futurist types with a keen but superficial interest in science and tech will rejoice.
informatimago
1 / 5 (6) Feb 17, 2018
The risk is real, if we consider history: the reaction of the Inca empire and people, the reaction of native americans, the reaction of amazonian tribes, the reaction of arborigenous tribes.

Even if it's true that European explorer may have acted at times in an antagonistic way, that has not always been the case; however those people have often reacted negatively (in a self-destructive way) to the contact of the more technologically and say, to use a general term, scientifically advanced people.

I think that the wise attitude is that of the (star trek) Prime Directive, which is to avoid direct and explicit contact, and for both civilizations!

It's already bad that we are witness of UFOs, and that we can assume (even if with very little proof) that we already have visitors. But an explicit contact would most certainly be disruptive, depressing for a lot of people, and insupportable for various psychological reasons for others.
informatimago
1 / 5 (8) Feb 17, 2018
Another datapoint would be the whole history of colonization and post-colonization in Africa. Currently, "misbehavior" of African migrants in Europe is explained by psychological shock due to the cultural (and civilizational) differential. So imagine the shock for everybody if the contact was with people able to travel faster than light!

Only the most ignorant and hopeful young fan of science fiction (as I was a few years ago), would consider it a-priori a good thing. But age, wisdom, and history teaches us otherwise, unfortunately.
Mayday
not rated yet Feb 17, 2018
Consider that there is a difference between intellligence and technical/scientific advancement. And the two do not necessarily move forward in lockstep. As an example, IMHO, western society is advancing technically extremely rapidly while also slowly declining intellectually(texting while driving is an easy example of both.).
Our alien visitors might be technically superior, but intellectually inferior. In which case they would keep their distance and never reveal themselves.
They might be technically stultified, having lived with the same worn-out technology after centuries of interstellar travel, but intellectual equals. In which case they might be good to get to know and help out while gaining from their technology.
Or, they may be technically superior and intellectually superior. In which case we are doomed. Contact will be initially stimulating, but eventually frustrating for both. When their patience runs out, what then?
humy
4 / 5 (4) Feb 17, 2018
We shouldn't believe every study just because it's "science". For example Orson Welles caused a nationwide panic with his broadcast of "War of the Worlds"—

That isn't "science" nor a "study" but just someone lying and only an idiot would think that had anything to do with "science" let alone it BEING "science".
Mayday
1 / 5 (1) Feb 17, 2018
Our alien visitors must surely see that Earth is an extremely violent ecosystem. I can imagine that their best move might be to keep themselves secret until they are ready to come forward "join the fray." In which case, I can't imagine that resulting in a good outcome for us.
Or a better move (I hope they're listening) might be to just move on. We offer very little threat to the rest of the universe and are on a clear trend to self destruction are at least decline back into primitivism. But it might be fun to watch, I guess.
doogsnova
1.7 / 5 (6) Feb 17, 2018
The reality is that E.T.s have been coming on and off for millions of years. Humans both evolved on this planet from simple organisms, but more recently human E.T.s mated with primitive Earth women and modern lineage was born. The history is detailed in over 700 contact reports of Billy Meier, or the compilation "We Came From The Stars, And Then From Mars", or the Plejaren Info-Only Outer Space Related excerpts. Billy has been meeting face to face with E.T.s for more than 70 years. PDFs here https://billymeie...ess.com/ It's the only verifiable contact case we know of, with 1,476 photos, 34 films, 125 eyewitnesses, metal samples, sound recordings, multiple photographers, and confirmation by scientists and military officers. FETI. TJ GOTT MOTT SROT TWTL DODECA WCFTSATFM OM
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2018
The risk is real, if we consider history: ... the reaction of native americans
@informatimago
What, exactly, do you mean by this?

are you referring to reaction events based upon a long history of broken treaties, lies, deceit and hatred from the religious-based European working under the Papal Bull or similar belief (like manifest destiny) assuming Native Tribes of the US less than human due to their "heathen" beliefs and culture?

or the original first contacts of which there were considerably limited hostile interactions, especailly when you take into account the sheer volume of diversity in the now-US?

I'm wondering simply because I want to know what perspective you chose when that was written as it will help formulate a response

thanks
Turgent
3 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2018
Due to incrementalism it will be a non-event about as exciting as Clinton's announcement of Martian fossil microbes. The expectation for discovery is already set. There is a set of rocky planets and a subset of rocky planets in the habitable zones. The JWST will have some capacity for identifying biosignature gases. Then we will find some with biogenic gas distribution like our own. We have discovered algae and pond scum!

When we do the deep dives on Enceladus and Europa we will find Black Smokers all over the place. Our question should be "Would you like a Cuban or Honduran cigar?" or "Would you prefer menthol?"
informatimago
1 / 5 (2) Feb 17, 2018
@Captain Stumpy: I'm referring not to the active reaction, which I would consider positive whether it's antagonistic or not (on both parts), but rather the depressive and regressive reaction. It can be due to the realization of utter inadequacy of one's civilization compared to the other, or it can be the subsidized living provided by the most technologically advanced, depriving the other part of a fight for living, and therefore a will to live, or any other such psychological factors.
rrwillsj
1 / 5 (5) Feb 17, 2018
From the infantile rants of bigoted commentators, my advice to any alien stupid enough to want to visit this Planet-of-the-Crazy Apes? Just don't bother.

You will only be disappointed. Traveling all the distance to this world? To discover no intelligent life.

As for you bigots. Since I am so much a better person than any you. So much more rational and reasonable a human being.

Should I judge you, my obvious inferiors, as you would judge those you claim to be inferior to you?

In your ignorance, you confuse your maladroit abuse of technology with being civilized.

https://www.damni...e-of-it/

You bigots are the poster child for my claim that evolution of intelligence is a failure and a dead-end for mammals.

Captain Stumpy
2.3 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2018
@informatimago
but rather the depressive and regressive reaction. It can be due to the realization of utter inadequacy of one's civilization compared to
sorry, but I have to challenge this

the bulk of the tribes welcomed the European immigrants (invasion) with open arms

in history, the Oglala and (most) other Siouxan tribes also welcomed said Europeans until said Europeans violated the treaty (after treaty, after treaty, and still today violate treaties where sovereign authority was just violated for the sake of US oil interests)

So, that argument fails in light of the evidence regarding western civilizations

still to this day the culture and civilization of the native American tribes is superior to modern technological civilization, IMHO

You're judging a civilization based solely upon a measure of technological advancement

excepting "urban development", the tribes were quite civilized
snoosebaum
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2018
How Are We going to Handle It ? with fake news of course
informatimago
1.8 / 5 (5) Feb 17, 2018
@Captain Stumpy How do you explain the high level of alcohol and other drugs consumption in native americans?

Even if temporarily it was promoted "in an act of psychological war", AFAIK the current status of the native americans in the USA would allow them to recover. And foremost, for all people, to catch up and integrate what the Europeans have to bring to the world. Japanese and Chinese (and other Asian) could do it. But then, it could exactly be argued that the Japanese and Chinese civilisations were on par, and therefore excluded from a would-be Prime Directive protection. Notably exchanges between China and the Occident existed of all times, so their civilizations evolved mostly in parallel.
Captain Stumpy
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 17, 2018
@informatimago
How do you explain the high level of alcohol and other drugs consumption in native americans?
1- WTF does that have to do with European invaders?

2- poverty, lack of control of even personally owned lands by an invasive gov't that is still breaking treaties, unemployment, no prospects and quite a few other reasons definitely factor into that topic

one thing that doesn't factor into it is the "inadequacy of one's civilization" because there isn't anything inadequate about my tribe or nation

as I stated: you're attempting to use technological advancement as the only marker for "civilization"

or
you're trolling

also note: none of your argument supports or relates to the invasion of the europeans or "realization of utter inadequacy of one's civilization compared to ..."
antialias_physorg
4.3 / 5 (6) Feb 18, 2018
We shouldn't believe every study just because it's "science". For example Orson Welles caused a nationwide panic with his broadcast of "War of the Worlds"—


This is one of those urban myths that just won't die.
No. There was no panic (not even a local one, let alone nation-wide))
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2018
Here are my two cents . . . unless actual direct contact in imminent, it will enjoy its 15 minutes of fame and then life will go on just as it did beforehand for the vast majority of folks. The idea of alien life is so far outside the everyday experience for most people that they are not ready to process it, but the media has already gotten most of used to the idea they are out there.

By way of example, I have commented numerous times that the number of planets in the Milky Way galaxy could easily be 1 trillion or more. The usual reaction is something like, "Ya, so what's your point?" This is a difficult fact to process. There may be billions or tens of billions of habitable worlds. Life may very well be running rampant across the galaxy or we are truly alone and there billions of worlds just waiting to embrace us. Take everything we ever thought possible in space multiply by 1,000 to include what we don't know then let it play out for billions of years on a trillion planets.
Mark Thomas
not rated yet Feb 18, 2018
If we all appreciated even the most easily foreseeable possibilities with a trillion-planet Milky Way galaxy, the debate about exploring and colonizing our own solar system would be completely over.
flashgordon
1 / 5 (1) Feb 18, 2018
Humans will react as well to E.T. as they will to nanotech/A.I/quantum computers . . . I just showed this one cop at a library some of the recent electric motor dna nanotech. We had been talking for a few months and being friends. As soon as I explained some stuff about it, well, she freaked and now we're mortal enemies!
jonesdave
3.7 / 5 (3) Feb 18, 2018
I can easily predict the reaction of anybody under 35 to this event - it will happen on social media, as follows:

OMG WTF is that?
IDK. What did u have for dinner?
Bart_A
1.1 / 5 (8) Feb 18, 2018
Wow, there are some really amazing persons among these commentators that are dead scared of God.

I want to remind everyone here that we have indeed had news of alien (out-of-this-world) life for many thousands of years now. Some have embraced Him. Others have ridiculed Him. No doubt He will appear again on this earth in the near future. Are you ready to meet Him?

rrwillsj
4.2 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2018
Sorry to spoil the delusion. But God and I talk every now and then. And IT wants to make it perfectly clear, that all your claptrap of religions and superstitions are utter balderdash.

Either we got free will or we do not. I just shrug my shoulders at how childishly trivial such beliefs are.

The believers are not worshiping God. Programmed by a thousand generations of their ancestors, who were slaves, serfs and menials. The believers of all religions and cults are worshiping Pharaoh.

Personally? I do not believe we have free will. I think we are ensnared within the tens of millions of years of monkey instincts programmed into our genes. And before that a hundred million years of rodent ancestry.

And again, so what? We are here now, fumbling our ways through the miasma of life. Try to be the best person you can be and don't waste your limited time sweating infantile drivel about a fantasy afterlife.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (2) Feb 19, 2018
I will give Bart_A credit for one thing, he acknowledged that his god must be an alien. This probably flows from the Book of Genesis, wherein God created Heaven and Earth. If God created Earth, he cannot be from Earth, so God must be from somewhere outside of Earth, ipso facto, God is an alien. Interestingly, God can't be from Heaven either, which raises further questions nobody is asking.

The fact that believers are not asking these basic questions is the key to their hypocrisy. If you really and truly believed, you would do everything in your power to understand the nature of God like anything else we study. For example, why don't religious folks document and track prayers and the corresponding reactions by God? If your religion is the best, you should expect far more prayers answered than from those believing in false religions. What is God most responsive too? Is God more likely to answer a prayer for basic needs like food, or is it the quality of faith that counts?
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2018
Comically, I can imagine a marketing campaign . . . Come join us in Christianity! Scientifically proven to answer 37% more of your prayers than your average religion. :-)

Other religions could focus on various marketing niches. Continuing with the example above, even though Christians get more prayers answered on average, a different religion's followers may be more likely to receive a new car through prayer than any other religion. :-)
someone11235813
not rated yet Feb 19, 2018
I agree, there may be some early grumblings, but overall humanity will welcome our new alien overlords.
Turgent
5 / 5 (1) Feb 19, 2018
Giordano Bruno was an Italian Dominican friar, philosopher, mathematician, poet, and cosmological theorist.Cosmic pluralism, the plurality of worlds, or simply pluralism, describes the philosophical belief in numerous "worlds" (planets, dwarf planets or natural satellites) in addition to Earth (possibly an infinite number), which may harbour extraterrestrial life.

For this he was burned at the stake.

Mark Thomas
not rated yet Feb 19, 2018
someone11235813, I suggest you watch more Star Trek, it will make you feel better about the future.

mackita, I think I can do both. I think there is a good chance at least some aspects of panspermia are correct.

Trugent, history is clearly on Bruno's side.
FredJose
1 / 5 (6) Feb 19, 2018
The heading of the article is deliberately cast to attract the most attention. Nothing wrong with that but it is misleading as to the slant of the original research.

In any case, we've already had a very good example of what happens when people encounter intelligent aliens: At the global dispersal at Babel, it resulted in all the different nations splitting up to form their own enclaves. They couldn't understand the others and so put some sensible distance between themselves. In case you didn't know it, even today (or ESPECIALLY today) we can trace the genetic codes of the sons and grandsons of Noah to the british isles, europe, iran, russia, egypt, the middle east, africa, asia, the americas, and yes, even australia and new zealand. Everyone on earth is related.

Now, the alien life referred to here in this article assumes that life can arise spontaneously from dirt all by itself via random chemical processes. But that is not true, it was created only on earth.
FredJose
1 / 5 (5) Feb 19, 2018
someone11235813, I suggest you watch more Star Trek, it will make you feel better about the future.

mackita, I think I can do both. I think there is a good chance at least some aspects of panspermia are correct.

Trugent, history is clearly on Bruno's side.

I'd suggest reading the bible instead and know for absolutely certain where we came from, why we are here and what our future holds. Then make the right choice and live in peace and joy for the rest of one's life on earth.
jonesdave
5 / 5 (3) Feb 19, 2018
Everyone on earth is related.


For once, Fred is correct. We all share an ancestor in Africa from long before the Adam & Eve fairy tale was invented.
Merrit
not rated yet Feb 20, 2018
I like the subject of the article, but the content is not very good. Personally, I would not be very excited about finding Martian bacteria because of its relative proximity to earth and the possibility of panspermia. Bio signatures on planets in other solar systems, however, would be much more interesting.

If something like Independence Day happened with massive ships coming down over our cities I would expect mass panic. It all depends on how we discover life and what that life is like.
Merrit
5 / 5 (2) Feb 20, 2018
@FredJose you are right, life didn't come from dirt. Life came into existence in the water. Much better environment for early life. Life didn't make its way to the land until much later and is one of the reasons 70% of our bodies is water.

As for the whole God thing, books like the Bible are not very specific and the God answer is less than worthless. Your bible says God is omniscient and all powerful. This means he could have simply initiated the Big Bang, assuming our theory is correct, and known all along that life and mankind would evolve all on its own eventually. This tells us absolutely nothing. Which is why it is down to Scientists to provide real answers.
savvys84
3 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2018
Lol aliens have been here a long time. Im their descendant
PeterPassword
not rated yet Feb 21, 2018
And when we find that life on Earth was a one in a trillion accident and the likelihood of it happenening on another lump of rock are infinitesimally small, wilol we stop thinking we're special and accept we are of no more importance than a virus?
antialias_physorg
5 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2018
wilol we stop thinking we're special and accept we are of no more importance than a virus?

Since we are the ones who define what is important or not: The idea of our own importance is circular reasoning, anyhow.

You can claim we're the most important thing or the most unimportant thing- it makes no difference whatsoever.
Mark Thomas
5 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2018
PeterPassword, you are not making a lot of sense to me. If "life on Earth was a one in a trillion accident" that seems to strongly support the idea that we are special. Very special. In fact, one in a trillion longshot special.

Furthermore, comparing us to a virus makes no sense here. If you don't see the difference, pretend you are hired for a very lucrative position to argue humanity's case about why we are a lot more significant than any virus could ever be. Think about love, compassion and our climb up the technological ladder. Try to consider the opposite perspective in life, which people struggle greatly with. If you get good at that, then begin to consider a wide variety of perspectives. For example, what would your parents have thought about the relative importance of you and a virus?
Edenlegaia
4.5 / 5 (2) Feb 21, 2018
We could very well be some kind of universal virus. We're bound to contaminate everything and spread life everywhere!
I don't know if it's important, but that's kinda what we want to do. As that kind of virus, i feel good.
Captain Stumpy
5 / 5 (1) Feb 21, 2018
@peter
And when we find that life on Earth was a one in a trillion accident and the likelihood of it happenening on another lump of rock are infinitesimally small
infantessimally small is still a huge number when you're dealing with trillions upon trillions of potential lumps of rock

and that is the potentially habitable ones in the universe, mind you
wilol we stop thinking we're special and accept we are of no more importance than a virus?
subjective argument, as A_P and Mark T point out

importance is all about perspective and dependent upon circumstance

after all, a sharp edge isn't "important" until you need to shave without bleeding

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